The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon has revealed an impressive men’s lineup for the inaugural race to take place March 13, 2010. Confirmed athletes include Sweden’s Bjorn Andersson, Luxembourg’s Dirk Bockel, Spain’s Eneko Llanos, Germany’s Faris Al-Sultan, Great Britain’s Fraser Cartmell, Australia’s Joe Gambles, the United States’ Jordan Rapp, Germany’s Maik Twelsiak, Switzerland’s Oliver Marceau, Great Britain’s Phil Graves, Denmark’s Rasmus Henning, South Africa’s Raynard Tissink and Belgium’s Rutger Beke. With such a strong lineup featuring athletes who specialize in a variety of distances, the unique course made up of 3km swim, 200km bike and 20km run makes this race unpredictable. Additionally, the mid-March race date means that athletes will likely be at varying levels of fitness and could make for an interesting outcome.
See the complete press release below:
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) organised event has rallied a phenomenal elite field to mark its inaugural event including three of the strongest cyclists in the world in Bjorn Andersson, Phil Graves and Team Abu Dhabi leader and former Ironman World Champion Faris Al-Sultan.
Faris Al-Sultan, Leader of Team Abu Dhabi said, “It’s going to be very interesting and exciting to see the best field outside of Hawaii on this unique cycling accented distance. Wind and heat will take their toll and we’ll see whose spirit the hopefully big crowd at the Corniche is able to uplift for the final run.”
Bjorn Andersson, Ironman Champion, commented on the event, “The new Abu Dhabi International triathlon is exactly what the sport of triathlon needs with an exciting new race format, an exotic location and a good organization behind it. I can’t wait to do this race.”
The current men’s field includes:
- Bjorn Andersson (SWE)
- Dirk Bockel (LUX)
- Eneko Llanos (ESP)
- Faris Al-Sultan (GER)
- Fraser Cartmell (GB)
- Joe Gambles (AUS)
- Jordan Rapp (US)
- Leon Griffin (AUS)
- Maik Twelsiak (GER)
- Oliver Marceau (SWI)
- Phil Graves (GB)
- Rasmus Henning (DEN)
- Raynard Tissink (SA)
- Rutger Beke (BEL)
The ADIT will deliver a line-up of high performance athletes in both the men’s and women’s field. Leading the women’s field is Julie Dibens of Great Britain – current Ironman 70.3 and Xterra Triathlon World Champion and 70.3 distance world record holder. Dibens, who is renowned as one of the fasted triathletes on the planet, has four world titles including 2009 Ironman 70.3 and Xterra 2009, 2008, 2007.
The ADIT will offer age group amateur athletes the chance to race alongside the current legends of triathlon. No other event outside of Hawaii is likely to present a field of champions to this magnitude where amateurs can benchmark their skills against elite athletes – testing physical endurance, agility and ability. The event currently has over 500 entrants from 25 countries. The combination of a first time event and the opportunity to race in one of the most unique long distance courses in the world will hopefully ensure ADIT becomes an instant international classic.
Maik Twelsiek, Ironman champion, can’t wait to be a part of the event, “I am really, really looking forward to competing at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, I think it will be great!! I have seen a lot of pictures and reports on this part of the world and it has been in my mind for a long time to come and experience it, but to now get the chance to see and race there as well is amazing…!!! The event organisers are doing a great job, the distance is a very interesting one and I am looking forward to find out how well I can do in this strong field at the beginning of the season.”
Raynard Tissink is ready to compete, ‘I’m looking forward to a challenging race in a unique part of the world that I have not yet visited. I expect the competition to be really tough, but I expect the course and conditions to be even tougher. My goals will be to finish first and foremost, but as I usually handle the heat pretty well, I’ll be conservatively looking to finish in the top 10.”
Athletes competing in the long distance course will have the chance to take home a share in $250,000 in prize money.